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Time to think big about high-speed rail

Reporter Marek Warszawski did a good job highlighting the issues regarding development of the high-speed rail through Fresno. He concluded that Fresno should strongly support the HSR despite cost overruns, I agree.

The article cites former Mayor Jim Patterson’s objections related to excessive cost. Major projects frequently have cost overruns. What would the Bay Area be like without BART, also the cost overruns in reconstructing the Bay Bridge and locally, the costly PG&E power project. The former mayor has always been small minded.

While mayor he stridently objected to inclusion of two small parcels in the proposed convention center expansion, forcing redesign, resulting in an undersized and underutilized convention center. He also failed to land a AAA baseball franchise, only to be secured shortly after his departure.

We have fallen behind the rest of the world in developing HSR. Europe and Japan have developed HSR systems that are efficient and highly used. I’ve used the HSR in Europe and can attest to the comfort and ease of moving about while traveling at 200 mph. It’s no time to quit. Infrastructure is expensive and requires high upfront money but has long-lasting benefits.

Harris Hays, Fresno

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